Inthe first of three debates between the two major party presidential candidates,Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Sept. 26 reiterated her call forrenewable energy development, making an appeal for becoming a "cleanenergy superpower of the 21st century."
"Wecan deploy half a billion more solar panels," Clinton said during a discussionon economic development. "We can have enough clean energy to power everyhome. We can build a new modern electric grid. That's a lot of jobs. That's alot of new economic activity."
Pushinga message of clean coal is an ill-advised campaign for an industry in need of anew strategy, according to a public affairs expert and industry advocates.
"That'sa spin that just isn't going to work," said Jon Davies, president ofDavies Public Affairs at the S&P Global Platts 39th Annual Coal MarketingDays Conference in Pittsburgh on Sept. 21. "We need to shift how we thinkabout parading a message."
Thecase against the Clean Power Plan is about whether, not how, power plants canbe regulated by the U.S. EPA for carbon dioxide emissions to the degreemandated by the agency, petitioners argued Sept. 27 before the U.S. Court ofAppeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Throughoutthe arguments, parties on both sides, and the court itself, seemed to lamentthat Congress had not taken action on a number of points at issue, such as movinglegislation to specifically regulate power plants for carbon in the first place.
Adistressed West Virginia coal industry is lined up behind a Republican carsalesman candidate even though it has the option to put one of its ownexecutives in the governor's office.
TheWest Virginia Coal Association is backing state Sen. Bill Cole and eschewingDemocrat candidateJim Justice, a billionaire coal executive. The endorsement is of the state industrymoving away from theDemocrat party.
"Ipersonally think Jim Justice is probably a pretty good guy," said ChrisHamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association. "Themain reason I'm against him is because he's a Democrat."
Weeksbefore officially leaving his position as the president of the Colorado MiningAssociation, Stuart Sanderson outlined the challenges facing the state's coalindustry, laying much of the blame at the feet of the local and federalgovernment.
"Thosewho seek to drive coal out of the energy mix try to pin the decline in coalproduction entirely on market forces and seek to blame 'low natural gas prices',but it wasn't low gas prices that led to the shutdown of 1,000 MW of coalgeneration in Colorado, it was government," Sanderson told S&P GlobalMarket Intelligence.
TheU.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late Sept. 21 that would prevent "high-impact"federal regulations from taking effect if they are undergoing judicial review,legislation that would likely delay implementation of new environmentalstandards and other rules for the energy sector if enacted.
TheHouse voted 244-180 in favor of H.R. 3438, called the Require Evaluation BeforeImplementing Executive Wishlists Act of 2016, or REVIEW Act. But the Obamaadministration said it would veto the bill if it reaches the president's desk.
"H.R.3438 would promote unwarranted litigation, introduce harmful delay, and, inmany cases, thwart implementation of statutory mandates and execution of dulyenacted laws," the White House Office of Management and Budget said Sept.20.
DP&L withdraws generation subsidy plan, will seek distributionrider
isbacking off plans to pursue an incomeguarantee for more than 2,000 MW of coal-fired generation in Ohioand will instead seek a rider tied to modernizing its distribution system.
TheAES Corp. subsidiaryon Sept. 23 filed notice with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that itis withdrawing its reliable electricity rider. DP&L said it will insteadpursue a distribution modernization rider as part of its proposed electricsecurity plan, or ESP.
Aproposed West Coast coal terminal that has faced a series of legal andregulatory challenges will now face further scrutiny after a hosting countyannounced a study to examine potential health risks associated with the project.
TheMillennium BulkTerminals-Longview project will now be subject to a reviewconducted by the Washington Department of Health, which will be guided by acommittee made up of local residents of Cowlitz County. According to projectbackers, the study will cost Millennium Bulk Terminals an estimated $200,000.
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